BBQ Seared Tuna, All the way from Papua New Guinea

20 01 2011

We spent Christmas in Australia with Rob’s family which we loved, but more relevant for this post is that we also managed to include a hop skip across to the very intriguing island of Papua New Guinea en route, as Rob’s parents are currently living and working there. I have no idea how you put PNG in a box – suffice to say that I think you just can’t, but IF I were to venture an attempt, it would go something along the lines of ‘a cross between Uganda and Jurassic Park…’. And that’s kind of hits the nail on the head really. It has a very tropical, mountainous, rural 3rd world feel like some parts further north of us in Africa, but then definitely has an island vibe going on as well, given that it makes up the other half of the main island of Indonesia just north of Australia.

Papua New Guinea still operates largely on tribal social structures, especially in the more rural mountain regions, and actually only officially abolished cannibalism about 20 years ago! They also have the most intriguing, and often hilarious, local pidgin dialect, which is kind of a bastardised English that often makes your toes squiggle with it’s idiosyncrasies. So, as you can imagine, never a dull moment on this island! And never a shortage of fresh fish to eat either. The second night we were there, Rob’s Dad, Al Graham (Ali G as he’s fondly known to Rob’s mates) happily cooked up gorgeous straight-out-of-the-ocean seared tuna steaks for us. Here’s how…

BBQ Seared Tuna Steaks
Serves 4 | Preparation time 5 minutes | Cooking time 5 minutes
4-6 palm-sized fresh tuna fillets, about 2-2.5cm thick
A handful of fresh coriander
For the marinade:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
Optional: 1 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1. Baste the tuna with the marinade and set aside
2. Heat the BBQ, or pre-heat a good quality pan on the stove, without any oil
3. Sear the tuna for 2-3 minutes on each side so that it remains deliciously rosy in the middle
4. Serve garnished with chopped fresh coriander

Side Dishes
Rob’s Mum served this with simple green beans and boiled potatoes with a generous sprinkling of fresh dill, salt, pepper and a dollop of butter – perfect, and they take nothing away from the real prize of the tuna steaks.

*You could just as easily use fresh salmon.

Loloatu Island, where we had a fun day snorkeling and diving

Loloatu Island – Mr Cool kissing his pet parrot

Cemetery honouring the graves of fallen WWII soldiers.
PNG was a big stomping ground  during the war, with the Japanese seeing the island as a gateway to Australia.

Rob hanging out at a local waterfall

Rob met sy ma & pa!



One response

23 01 2011

Gorgeous family, gorgeous food and PNG looks like a nice place to visit! Hope the parrot was not responsible for the bandage on Mr Cool’s eye!

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